Cricket Club Issue 41 - Page 6

Teston FOLLOW US ONLINE TWITTER.COM/CRICKETCLUBMAG Teston CRICKET CLUB T he sign that greets visitors to Teston proudly displays its historic link with cricket – beautifully hand-stitched balls were produced there by the family-run firm of Readers throughout the 19th and 20th century. Sadly, the factory, which was the village’s main employer and at one time boasted the smallest trade union in the country, is no longer in existence though its listed frontage has been incorporated into a housing development on the site. The men who grafted to ensure the cricketing world had a regular supply of high quality balls were the backbone of Teston CC when it was formed in 1895. The present-day custodians of the village’s sporting heritage still play at the same picturesque 6 Issue 41 ground, behind an imposing country mansion, Barham Court, that overlooks the Medway Valley near Maidstone. Three years ago, shortly after Teston started a junior section, the club committee realised their pavilion – a former classroom that members transported in four sections from a neighbouring village in 1982 and reassembled at the ground – was no longer fit for purpose. Kent and England legend Derek ‘Deadly’ Underwood was the main speaker at the launch of a fund-raising appeal which received a major boost when Sport England awarded a £50,000 grant to the project. This was followed by £5,000 from a local charitable trust. A 100-mile sponsored bike ride, a poker night and a golf day kept the cash flowing in. However, the club had to take out an ECB interest-free loan to meet unexpected costs and a series of money-making events are planned for the next five years. Main contractor Nick Elliott ensured the project was completed within budget, on time, and to a high standard. Several tradesmen friends of the club also made generous donati